Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Clifford Brown




China, national boundaries, territory, history, disputed claims


This thesis constitutes an attempt to better comprehend and understand the People’s Republic of China (PRC) effort to consolidate territory it believed rightfully belonged to China and its implications moving forward. China is a fascinating, complicated and confusing country. It is the most populated country in the world with 1,349,585,8381 people, 91.5% of whom are ethnic Han Chinese. The remaining 8.5% of the population is split amongst 55 ethnic minorities.2 While 8.5% may seem like a small number, 8.5% of 1,349,585,838 is just under 115 million people. That is over one-third of the population of the United States. If the 55 minorities were to be considered their own country they would be the thirteenth most populated country in the world.3 Most of the minority population lives on China’s periphery and were incorporated into China by the expansionistic Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). Typically they do not speak Mandarin, the official state language of the PRC. In this regard ironically roughly 400 million PRC citizens do not speak Mandarin either and millions of others speak it poorly.4 Millions of Han Chinese speak one of the over 1,500 dialects of Chinese, most notably Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaineese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minna (Hokkien-Taiwanese) along with the Xiang, Gan and Hakka dialects. Beijing seeks to unify the citizens of the PRC through Mandarin.

Included in

Asian Studies Commons